The library service in my state has just implemented an online electronic library. With just your library card (and PIN) here in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), you can now download any of hundreds of books in electronic text or audio e-book form. Most of the books “expire” after a set “loan period,” (using Digital Rights Management), but this is still an innovative way to allow library patrons to access resources
- without having to physically visit a library
- enabling more concurrent borrowers of a particular resource than physical books or recordings would allow
- enabling borrowers to conveniently store, carry, and access borrowed resources using the portable media players, PDAs and mobile phones. No more heavy library bags!
- without having to worry about physically returning library books or getting slapped with overdue fines
There are, of course, other online electronic libraries such as Project Gutenberg (which also has an Australian Archive). These usually have great classic titles – on which the copyright has expired – but can’t make the latest publications available.
The new online ACT Public Library Service enables some of the latest and most popular releases to be accessed and used far more flexibly and conveniently – a very good thing indeed for mobile learners here.
(via Online Teacher Network)